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Archive for February 24th, 2011

“I Spy” a Set of Soundtrack Reissues from FSM

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Film Score Monthly’s latest release is a nice reissue of a pair of LPs from the classic comedy I Spy.

The show, riding high on a wave of ’60s spy mania thanks to the likes of James Bond, was a deft blend of action and comedy, featuring a groundbreaking pair of actors as secret agents: Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. It was the first major role for a black actor on television, and through all their jet-setting adventures, Cosby’s race was smartly never even acknowledged, let alone played for laughs.

Earle Hagen, known for providing music for other shows produced by the show’s executive producer, Sheldon Leonard (including the iconic, whistled theme to The Andy Griffith Show) recorded an ambitious body of music used during the show’s three-season run. When the show got its own soundtrack releases, though (an album apiece on Warner Bros. and Capitol), Hagen re-recorded his music with many of the same players used for the show itself.

In 2002, FSM released the first soundtrack CD of I Spy, but utilized the original recordings from the show, as only one LP was up for licensing. Now, in a bold, cross-licensing set, both LPs have been included on one CD, which will not be pressed in limited quantities. Film music historian Jon Burlingame contributes new liner notes alongside reproductions of the original notes (written by Cosby himself for the second album).

Go to FSM’s site to order your copy and hit the jump for the full track list.

Earle Hagen, et al., I Spy, Vol. 2 – The LPs 1966-1968 (Film Score Monthly Vol. 14, No. 3, 2011)

  1. I Spy
  2. Tatia
  3. Hi Yo Scotty
  4. Angel
  5. Away We Go to Tokyo
  6. Rickshaw Ride
  7. Away We Go to Mexico
  8. Ah So! *
  9. The International Set
  10. Another Kind of Blues
  11. Fiesta del Sol
  12. The Wonderfulness of You *
  13. Made in Hong Kong
  14. I Spy
  15. Over the Wall
  16. Montezuma’s Revenge
  17. Islands in the Sea
  18. The Golden Age
  19. The Voice in the Wind **
  20. To Florence with Love *
  21. Sophia
  22. Rots of Ruck
  23. There’s No Escape
  24. Domingo
  25. The International Set

Tracks 1-13 released as Warner Bros. LP WS-1637, 1966. Tracks 14-25 released as Capitol LP ST-2839, 1967.
* denotes music composed by Hugo Friedhofer. ** denotes music composed by Earle Hagen and Gene Lees.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 24, 2011 at 16:10

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

It’s Official: Queen Will Rock Fans with U.S. Reissues

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To finally clear up all the confusion, Hollywood Records issued a press release confirming that the upcoming reissues of the band’s first five LPs – the ones we’ve covered at great length here – will be getting Stateside releases this spring.

As with the U.K. versions coming from Island/UMe in March, these sets will be two discs each, pairing the original LPs with a bonus disc of rarities. (The track listings are identical worldwide.) The Deep Cuts compilation is not set for a U.S. release, but the press release does mention the forthcoming Record Store Day single, and confirms that on April 19, the Greatest Hits II compilation will see its first standalone release in the U.S. (recall that Hollywood, who’d at the time of the disc’s release in 1991 had only just secured catalogue distribution rights for the band, opted for an entirely different set of compilations.)

Hit the jump for the full release, and raise a glass knowing that you’ve just been saved a bit of cash by not having to import these sets!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 24, 2011 at 15:04

Cherry Red Reissues A-Plenty in March

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As if the impressive release schedule from Big Break Records wasn’t enough to excite catalogue fans, next month will see another impressive wave of reissues from other labels in the Cherry Red family. 7Ts, Cherry Pop and Soul Music are all planning some impressive remastered and expanded discs which will bring some pop, rock and R&B acts from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s back into print.

From 7Ts comes expansions of the first two LPs by singer/actress Suzi Quatro. While these two glam-rock LPs attracted little attention in the U.S., they were both considerably successful in Europe. (Quatro’s Stateside success began with a guest role as Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days and culminated in the Top 5 hit “Stumblin’ In” in 1979.) These reissues of Suzi Quatro (1973) and Quatro (1974) are augmented with non-LP singles and B-sides, which along with the albums themselves were largely written and produced by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn (who wrote another big hit around the same time, Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” and would write or co-write plenty of hits in the ’80s for Pat Benatar, Huey Lewis and The News and Tina Turner).

Cherry Pop has prepped reissues of both the first and last albums by the classic line-up of A Flock of Seagulls. The quintessential ’80s band, known for both the worldwide (except for the band’s native U.K.) hit “I Ran” and lead singer/keyboardist Mike Score’s distinctive haircut, will see expanded versions of the band’s self-titled 1982 debut and 1986’s Dream Come True, all augmented with bonus B-sides and remixes. (The band released one last album in 1995, The Light at the End of the World, but Mike Score was the only original member involved.)

Finally, the Soul Music label has four albums coming back into print. Peabo Bryson’s first two albums for Capitol (his second and third overall), Reaching for the Sky (1977) and Crosswinds (1978), will be released together as a two-disc set with three U.S. single edits as bonus tracks. The label will also issue straight remasters of Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music, the 1973 LP by Billy Preston, and I’m on Your Side (1991), the most recent pop album by Jennifer Holliday, famed for her Tony-winning turn in Dreamgirls and the hit “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

The Soul Music titles have a U.K. release date of March 14, while the rest hit U.K. shops a week later. Full track lists and order links are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 24, 2011 at 13:16

Angel Air Revisits a Series of Tommy James Classics

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Shondells frontman Tommy James has been fairly well-represented on CD, with reissues from both Collectors’ Choice and Collectables compiling most of his classic oeuvre. Now, the U.K.’s Angel Air label takes its turn filling in more gaps in James’ catalogue with a trio of reissues. First up are a pair of two-fers, In Touch (1976) with Midnight Rider (1977), and Three Times in Love (1980) with Hi-Fi (1990), followed by an expanded edition of A Night in…Big City: An Audio Movie (1995).

In Touch and Midnight Rider were recorded for San Francisco-based Fantasy Records upon James’ departure from his longtime home, Roulette Records. James collaborated with ex-Shondell Peter Lucia to write “Calico” for In Touch, and the album also featured James’ own version of his “Tighter, Tighter.” A hit by Alive ‘n Kickin’ at Roulette, it remains an oldies radio staple today. Also notable is the Kenny Laguna/Ritchie Cordell production of Gary Glitter’s “(Do You Wanna) Touch Me,” which they would later record on Joan Jett.  Cordell, of course, was a longtime James collaborator and one of the co-writers of “Mony Mony.” James took a different approach for its immediate follow-up, Midnight Rider, turning to veteran Jeff Barry to produce. Barry, of course, gave Tommy James his first hit with “Hanky Panky,” written with Barry’s then-wife Ellie Greenwich. James, always a strong songwriter in his own right, contributed “Keep it in the Groove” and another highlight of the album, “Love is Gonna Find  a Way.”  The album has some Eagles influences, and Timothy B. Schmit even makes an appearance, as does Michael McDonald.

The second two-fer spotlights James’ work at the very beginning and tail end of the 1980s, although the latter (released in 1990) has more of the production hallmarks of the ’80s than the former. Three Times in Love, on the Millennium label, yielded James’ last chart hit to date when its title track, written by James and Rick Serota, hit No. 19. “Three Times in Love” was James’ first chart placement in eight years, and fared even more impressively on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it landed at No. 1 for one week. Michael Brecker and Luther Vandross are among the album’s guests. Hi-Fi was James’ first effort in nearly a decade, and was released on the indie Aegis label. It’s heavy on synthesizers, but showed that James’ vocals and pop instincts hadn’t diminished over the years.

Five years later on his own Aura imprint, James released A Night in Big City…An Audio Movie, an offbeat concept album combining songs with spoken dialogue in the style of a radio play. While the album’s plot is oblique, there are a number of songs that shine, including remakes of “Tighter, Tighter” and a New Wave-style take on “I Think We’re Alone Now.” “Madd Blue” and “Blue Bird” are eccentric tracks far-removed from James’ familiar pop sound. In addition, the album reunited Tommy James with Jimmy “Wiz” Wisner, the original arranger of “I Think We’re Alone Now.” The new edition is expanded by eight bonus tracks, but Angel Air’s catalogue entry indicates that the dialogue tracks have been dropped, perhaps for a more cohesive listening experience. Some would find this a preferable way to enjoy the music.

Three Times in Love/Hi-Fi is already available, In Touch/Midnight Rider arrives in stores on March 8, and A Night in…Big City is due April 12 from Angel Air.  Hit the jump for track listings as well as ordering and discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 24, 2011 at 11:48

Posted in News, Reissues

Do You Love Them? The Contours’ Lost Motown Classics Arrive on CD

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Early Motown act The Contours received a new lease on life back in 1988 when Dirty Dancing (and its More Dirty Dancing soundtrack) introduced a new generation to their 1962 hit single, “Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance).” The song made a return appearance on the Billboard chart more than 25 years after its original appearance, and the group even performed live as part of the Dirty Dancing Tour. Prior to that, the Contours hadn’t seen many glory days since 1967. That was when the group disbanded upon the conclusion of their Motown contract after years of taking a backseat to higher profile artists like The Temptations, The Four Tops and The Miracles. Still, The Contours left behind a rich musical legacy that has been anthologized over the years, largely due to the strength of “Do You Love Me.”

Ace Records’ Kent label has just announced a new release that’s sure to bring further prominence to the group: the March 28 first-time issue of their long-lost 1964 LP Dance with The Contours, once purportedly scheduled for Gordy 910. (Motown Minutiae Time: Some sources cite Can You Dance as the title of the aborted LP, but The Complete Motown Singles Volume 4 confirms the title as the one being used by Kent, Dance with The Contours. To further complicate matters, Motown authority and this release’s annotator Keith Hughes told the Soulful Detroit Forum, “I can add that although some Motown discographies have actually listed an album with this title, we’ve not managed to uncover a single piece of original paperwork suggesting such an LP was ever planned, so we’ve made the track listing up…”) Whether an LP was planned in 1964 or not, the new release compiles the two tracks released as singles from those 1964 sessions (“Can You Do It,” with its musical reference to “Do You Love Me,” and “Can You Jerk Like Me,” released just before The Miracles’ “Come On, Do the Jerk”) along with a staggering 24 previously unreleased tracks! Even more excitingly, Kent promises that this will be the “first of several CDs” issued “under legal license from, and with the full approval of, the owners of the Motown catalogue.” (Ace/Kent actually has released a prior Motown collection, the superb The Satintones Sing!) Hit the jump for more on this lost treasure, including pre-order information and the track listing!  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 24, 2011 at 09:19